The institution does this by sharing patient stories with volunteers and providing them information on what it is able to accomplish in medicine and research because of funds raised.
“We also try to make their volunteer job very easy by providing them with lots of instructions and help, being just one phone call away whenever they need us, and then providing that ongoing, hopefully wonderful, St. Jude experience throughout that time — between the time we ask them to participate and the time they actually do their event,” she adds.
“Up ’til Dawn” is a student-run program hosted by colleges and universities nationwide that unites students, faculty and staff in awareness- and fundraising events. It culminates with an all-night celebration where students stay “up ’til dawn” in honor of St. Jude patients. Since the program’s creation in 1998, more than 185 campuses have participated and raised more than $16 million.
It’s all about trust
At the end of the day, integrity is the main hallmark of fundraising for ALSAC/St. Jude.
“I think that the donor understands that over 85 cents of every dollar received goes directly to the hospital and to the kids,” Moses says. “And I think that integrity and that credibility that we have with the donor is really what indicates who really owns this hospital.
“It’s owned by middle America, because our average contribution last year was $25.09,” he explains. “Our total corporate income this year will be about $34 million out of a budget of fundraising of $538 million. So you can see that really it’s the average donor. It’s middle America that really supports and owns the dream of St. Jude.”
Nothing compares to the impact of actually visiting the hospital and looking into the eyes of its patients — a one-on-one encounter with ALSAC/St. Jude’s raison d’être. But the organization has found ways to communicate its reason for being to its constituents, most of whom will never walk its halls, in a way that resonates with the public and upholds the mission its founder set for it.